Tutorials

Alice Liddell’s Vorpal Blade

Mi first big challenge was Alice’s Vorpal Blade from Alice: Madness Returns video game so I want to share the steps I followed to create her blade, if you’re already familiar with a prop process you can skip this part and go straight to the process):

    1. EVA foam: You can find this material at Walmart or any retail store as an exercise mat and it goes around $20 dollars with 3 or 4 mats big enough for your to start this prop. One of the biggest advantages of using EVA Foam is that it’s super cheap compared to worbla or any other materials that you can use for props; however, this creates a lot of disposal, what you don’t use it will probably end up being garbage.

 

  1. Vorpal Blade Blueprints:  This is the design I used for the blade, very useful for all the details on the blade, you may click on the image to save it on your computer to print 3 o 4 copies out.
  2. Dremel: As you’ll probably already know this amazing tool will be one of your best friends in cosplay, you’ll also need different attachments for it to work, you can find it at Walmart or home depot and it goes around $20 – $30 dollars depending on the brand you decide to purchase.
  3. Contact Cement: Try to use a mask or respirator if you’re going to apply it indoors, this amazing adhesive will help you a lot, it will keep your prop project attached like there’s no tomorrow haha, you can buy it at Walmart or Home Depot and it goes around $5 dollars.
  4. Plasti Dip: This spray will seal your foam and protect it from many different things, also it’s important to add a coat of plastic dip before panting any prop made with EVA Foam, super useful, buy the clear color instead of black or white.
  5. Ice cream sticks: We’ll need some of these to put them inside the blade before gluing everything together, this will help your blade to be more firm and avoid getting bend.
  6. Glue Gun: Your best friend!! Really this gun will be your best friend but in this case we’re going to need it to add the details on the blade’s handle, remember to get glue for this gun otherwise you wont be able to use it.
  7. Mask: It is IMPORTANT to wear a mask before sculpting and detailing your prop, if any of those particles get’s in your lungs it’s toxic and dangerous, so please be careful and take care of your lungs, wear a mask.
  8. Black and silver spray paint.
  9. Golden Rub’n buff: As it’s name suggests we’ll rub the paint on the blade, this will provide the perfect metallic touch on the blade’s handle, you can get it at Walmart or Michael’s, it goes around $5 – $10 dollars.
  10. Heating Gun: After sculpting the prop we’ll need to seal the foam, this will make painting a lot easier, again just use it with caution, you wouldn’t like to get burn thanks to the heat of this tool. You can buy it at Walmart or Home Depot and depending on the brand it might cost you around $20 – $30 dollars.
  11. Retractable Knife: Super easy for you to get one of these, just be careful when you’re using it, remember that it’s quite sharp, if not please use a sharpener before cutting your EVA Foam, perfect cuts depends on how sharp is your knife.
  12. X-acto Knife: We will use this knife for the blade’s details.

Procedure

If you have any questions do not hesitate to let me know on the comments or sending me a message through Facebook or twitter.

  1. Cut the handle and blade pattern from the blueprints I shared with you.
  2. Put both pieces on top of the EVA Foam and with extra caution using the retractile knife start cutting the 2 pieces (handle and blade) of the vorpal blade.
  3. Repeat step number 2, 2 times for the blade and 3 times for the handle, we’ll cut 3 pieces of the handle because the handle it’s suppose to be thicker than the blade.
  4. (PLEASE wear your mask before you proceed) Since we’re going to glue 2 – 3 pieces together we need both sides of the EVA foam smooth and as you might already noticed exercise mat have a pattern on one side of them, therefore we’ll need to smooth that side using the dremel tool, using your dremel tool start sanding each side of the EVA Foam you previously cutted out.
  5. Before gluing everything together we need to put 2 ice cream sticks inside of what’s going to be the blade, find the perfect spot to place the ice cream sticks on both the handle and blade being careful of not getting on their way.
  6. Once you located the perfect spot to place those ice scream sticks then we’ll sculpt a hole on each spot to place the ice cream stick inside, you don’t have to sand a lot since the ice cream stick is super thin, just enough for the ice cream stick to stay in the EVA Foam.
  7. Using another ice cream stick rub a little bit of contact cement on the holes you just created to place the ice cream sticks inside the blade and the handle.
  8. Wait until it dries.
  9. Using the same ice cream stick you use to spread contact cement we’ll do the same to glue all our pieces together, your resulted shape will be just like the one you see on the pictures below. (Glue 3 handle pieces since it should be thicker than the blade and 2 blade pieces) Important to merge this 2 pieces (Handle and blade) you’ll need to cut the middle piece as you were building a puzzle.
  10. Wait until the contact cement dries.
  11. Dremel time! We’re ready to sculpt and sanding to work on the details of the blade. (Please wear your mask before using your dremel) Using the dremel tool start smoothing the edges of the blade, top part of the blade and detailing the blade for it to look shaped. With the handle sculpt around the edges to make it look more like a natural handle, your blade will start to look just like Alice’s Blade.
    Sanding and Detailing
  12. Now this was the toughest part of all, adding the details on the blade took a quite a while and I had to be super patience with this so be patient! Cut the detail patterns from the blueprints and place it on top of one side of the blade, you can tape it so it doesn’t move with your cut the pattern and with the x-acto knive start cutting through the paper.
  13. Follow the same process on the other side of the blade with the other side of the design you have on the blueprint.
  14. Now we’re ready to use the heating gun, turn on the heating gun and pass it through both sides of the blade, this will seal the foam and seal the details you just cutted on the blade.
  15. Now this is the fun part, let’s use our glue gun! Alice’s blade has unique details on the handle, following the pattern you have on the blueprints start adding glue all over the handle.
  16. We’re ready to paint! remember to use the spray paint outdoors or use a respirator if you’re going to paint indoors, we’ll start with 2 coats of plastic dip, this does not take long to dry.
  17. Black paint on the handle and silver paint on the blade as you can see from the picture below. You may spray up to 3 coats of paint just to be sure.
  18. Wait until it dries (again, this doesn’t take long specially if you’re not using oil acrylic paint)
  19. Gently rub golden color on the dried glue you added to the handle’s details, you don’t need to rub a lot of paint, this paint it’s very think.

And voalá your Vorpal Blade it’ ready! I honestly had a lot of fun creating this prop.

I’m working on a video tutorial for this prop because I know it’s better to see the process than simply read it but I sure hope this was helpful for you, feel free to share it with your friends and leave a comment. Thank you!

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